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Russia 'may buy' $50 mln worth of Israeli UAVs
by Staff Writers
Moscow (Voice of Russia) May 21, 2012

Russia, Norway end Pomor-2012 naval drills
Russia and Norway have ended their joint naval drills Pomor-2012 by the two countries' vessels calling at Norway's Budo seaport.

Yesterday, Russia's Admiral Chabanenko large anti-sub ship and Norway's Fritiof Nansen frigate were engaged in drilling interaction in bad weather conditions.

During the drills, the ships covered a total of some 800 nautical miles and carried out more than 20 combat exercises, including battle firing.

It is the fourth time that Russia and Norway have held the Pomor war games seeking to ensure interoperability in the Arctic region.

2 US Navy ships collide in Pacific
Two US Navy ships collided in the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday with serious damage caused to both, but military officials said there were no injuries or fuel spills, the AP reports from San Diego, California.

The midmorning accident between the amphibious assault vessel USS Essex and the oiler USNS Yukon occurred about 120 miles off the coast of Southern California as the Essex was approaching the Yukon to be refueled.

Russia may buy a large new consignment of unmanned aerial vehicles from Israel and 24 command and control systems worth around $50 million in the foreseeable future, a high ranking source in the Russian defense industry said on Wednesday.

Israel Aerospace Industries previously delivered to Russia two Bird Eye-400, eight I-View Mk150 and two Searcher Mk.2 UAVs, totaling $53 million.

"The Defense Ministry is considering the possibility of purchasing from the Israeli company Aeronautics Defense Systems of three types of UAV control systems (eight each): Orbiter 2, Aerostar, Skystar," the source said.

The consensus within the Russian Defense Department seems to be that these systems are essential until the domestic industry develops and starts large scale manufacturing of similar systems at home, he added.

Russian helicopters proving popular
Russia intends to build more than 300 helicopters this year. In total, they will cost 150 bln rubles.

This is what Director General of the Russian company "Vertolyoty Rossii" (which means "Russian helicopters") Dmitry Petrov said at an international exhibition of helicopters in Moscow.

Mr. Petrov also said that currently, Russia produces 9% of the world's civil helicopters and 22% of military helicopters.

India, China and former Soviet republics prefer Russian helicopters to those made in other countries. Russian helicopters are also very popular in Argentine and Brazil, the economies of which are currently rapidly developing.

In the early 2000s, Russia produced 3% of helicopters in the world. Now, it produces 14%.

Russian-US joint drills under way in US
Russian and American airborne forces are holding joint military drills at a US base in Colorado.

The war games which began on Tuesday are the first ever joint drills between Russian and American airborne forces.

For two weeks 22 Russian and 22 American paratroopers will be practicing tactical landing and assault operations, reconnaissance tactics, and helicopter evacuation.


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Autonomous Vehicle Developed for Surveying Assault-Zone Runways
Washington DC (SPX) May 11, 2012
TORC Robotics recently demonstrated an autonomous vehicle for Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) capable of performing expedient runway surveys, including taking soil hardness measurements, providing terrain data and reporting hazards to flight. The Robotic Assault Zone Terminal Evaluation Kit (RAZTEK), developed by TORC, AFRL, and Tec^Edge, consists of TORC unmanned vehicle conversion kits an ... read more

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